2013 Addiction Focused Containment and Autonomic Regulation (A-CAR)
The Love and Trauma Center is offering the Addiction Focused Containment and Autonomic Regulation (A-CAR) training in conjunction with CeDAR (the University of Colorado Hospital’s inpatient and extended care addiction facility).
(watch this 35 minute training excerpt on the autonomic nervous system and how dysregulation drives addiction)
This training is a theoretical and practical integration of trauma therapy with traditional addiction recovery. The course is open to professionals or students who already have a background with addiction counseling. The focus will be on developing skill sets specific to trauma therapy and how to integrate trauma work into the recovery process. Students will learn how to correlate appropriate trauma interventions to specific phases of addiction treatment, assessment and treatment planning skills (how to interpret and strategize using a client’s TSI 2 profile and trauma history inventory), how the nervous system stores and processes traumatic memory, how to map a client’s autonomic nervous system, protocols and safety guidelines to prevent relapse, habituating autoregulation and how to release traumatic charge through the body for individuals and groups.
First and foremost, the primary purpose of the training is to develop highly skilled, trauma integrated addiction specialists. To do this, we focus on integrating theory, research, and strategic thinking with very experiential, hands-on, skill development. In fact, a full 50% of the training is dedicated to skills practice. Many students find the training to be demanding insofar as it requires a high level of intellectual engagement, working with one’s own personal history of stress and trauma, and mastering a set of skills that are beyond the scope of what is taught in traditional counseling programs or addiction counselor courses.
The somatic trauma model we use, Containment and Autonomic Regulation, draws on information from neuropsychological research which includes an understanding of how traumatic experiences are stored and accessed through different memory systems. We also draw from Peter Levine’s modeling of the stressed autonomic nervous system and his emphasis on working precisely and slowly with body sensations and impulses. We’ve developed and researched an in-depth trauma protocol that is designed to be safe, efficient, sophisticated enough to deal with the complex nature of trauma, and is reproduceable (most students are able to competently implement the protocol by the end of the course).
What research says about the link between addiction and trauma:
The National Center for PTSD (2013)reports that 60% of men and 50% of women will experience at least one traumatic event in their lives and that 7% to 8% of the US population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. This accounts for approximately 5.2 million adults with PTSD in any given year. Clearly, not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will go on to develop PTSD. Those that do develop PTSD have a significantly greater risk of experiencing a co-occurring substance use disorder. Najavits (2007) reported that among persons who develop PTSD, 52% of men and 28% of women will develop an alcohol use disorder and 35% of men and 27% of women will develop a drug use disorder. Khantzian and Albanese (2008) found that individuals with PTSD are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop substance use disorders than individuals without PTSD. Brady, et al. (1994) stated that one-third to one-half of all clinical patients with substance abuse disorders also met the criteria for a current PTSD and that these individuals show greater symptoms for each, resulting in greater psychological distress. Jacobson,
Southwick & Kosten,(2001) support these figures in stating that individuals with substance abuse problems have a lifetime prevalence rate of PTSD between 35% and 50%.
The statistics related to the incidence of PTSD and addiction don’t fully tell the story of why trauma is so important for addiction counselors. Not only is there a higher incidence of co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorders, but there is a significantly greater likelihood of relapse (Norman, Tate, Anderson, & Brown, 2007; Heffner, Blom, & Anthenelli, 2011) and poorer short and long term treatment outcomes (Ouimette, Moos, & Brown, 2003; Sonne, Back, Zuniga, Randall, & Brady, 2003). Based on these statistics, it would appear to be important for substance abuse professionals to understand trauma and the impact that it has on the development of substance use disorders and treatment outcomes.
–Dr. Michael Barnes
What others have said about this training:
“I have been doing therapy for 30 years and I thought there was nothing new under the sun, how wrong I was. I signed up for this training wanting something substantial, something I would use in my practice, and most importantly, something effective…I got all of that.”
Ruth Possehl –Clinical Faculty, University of Colorado
The Love and Trauma Center actively solicits frank and anonymous feedback from our students in order to continually improve our trainings. Of the students and professional therapists that were part of our last Containment and Autonomic Regulation course, 95% would recommend the training to a friend.
Striking data can be found in our recently completed pilot research study performed on the CAR model where newly trained counseling interns and externs (I.e new therapists) delivered the CAR protocol in a limited 12 session format. In an assessment of counselor skill level and the effectiveness of the CAR protocol, 71% of clients rated their newly trained CAR therapist as “very skilled” and 86% of clients rated the CAR approach as “quite helpful”.